TurningBear Exhibit @ The Artful Space

TurningBear has studied as a professional artist since 1976.

During his tenure, he has produced many original oil paintings by commission and freelance. His work is found in the United States and several countries. He is a master scrimshaw artist as well, with commissioned works owned by Clint Eastwood and General Schwarzkopf. 

TurningBear was born in the Alaskan Territory in 1954. Since he was a boy he traveled with his family across the United States. His discovery during his exploration and observation of nature impressed upon him the infinite detail woven into creation. His childhood exploits found him climbing trees and waiting for unexpected cows to pass under, where he would drop in ambush on their backs! The patience he attained studying all things created can be seen today in his mature works. 

TurningBear has mastered graphite, and he frequently produces commissioned portraits with this medium. “My paintings are only as good as my graphite work, it is the very basis for all of my oil paintings,” he says. Of course, this attention to detail in drawing is seen in his painted compositions of people, architecture, animals, seascapes and particularly landscapes. 

Naturally, landscapes are varied and complex, but he moves with industry and confidence into a variety of genre. Some of his most recent works include exquisite renderings of signature holes at premier golf destinations in Arizona and Montana. It is important to note that Turning Bear’s paintings are at once finely detailed while sustaining the elemental senses of mood and contrast. In 1995 the commissioned painting of White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona awarded him his greatest passion in subject matter.

“For me,” says Turning Bear, “painting dramatic landscapes of the West is the most challenging and rewarding of the artistic adventures I take. The White Stallion commission was a real boost for me, and since then, numerous commissions and LTD reproduction works have followed.” From St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park to Latigo Ranch in Colorado, his catalogue of commissioned works continues to grow. 

James R. Martin, Author, and Art Educator